Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

171. Dedication

Two evenings.
Two separate incidents.
Two different persons.
But we were the same - going through both the experiences.
But our understanding was different on two different occasions.

One famous dam.
We visited the site.
The Chief Executive Engineer was present.

"Would you like to listen to a power point presentation before we visit the site?" he asks.
I am no expert on Dams. I don't understand technical things.
But the person asked me so humbly, that I said 'Yes'.
A good presentation for half an hour, with tea, and on the spot focused answers to the various questions.
I realized that this person is calm, disciplined, knowledgeable and humble.
I like such people.

Half an hour was assumed for the visit of Dam.
It took us two and half hours.
Because this Engineer was giving us information in details.
I could see that his heart was in his work, he remembered history and dreams of every stage in the project. Moreover, he wanted to tell me the story completely.
I was touched by his involvement, his dedication towards his work.
It was as if I was visiting his home - with so much of affection he was showing me everything.
I enjoyed it.

Next evening, we visited a Museum.
This was a small kingdom, there was a king, his palace is now a Museum.
Two persons were there. Initially they were reluctant to allow us inside - but somehow we managed to take a round. I asked few questions and they answered in a matter of fact tone.
I had planned one hour for the Museum visit - but within ten minutes I was walking out of the Museum - dissatisfied.

A woman in her 50s was standing outside.
"Come this way", she ordered me.
I followed her.
She opened the door and asked me to come inside.
There was a an image of a Goddess.
"Who is this Goddess?" I asked.
The woman said, "I cannot speak Hindi."

During next ten minutes, in fluent Hindi, she told me the story of how the Goddess who was originally in the city of Ujjain was happy  with the king; how she promised the king to reside in the palace temple; how the king was asked not to look behind for her; how when  she approached the king's palace she realized that her common devotees would not be able to meet her; how she removed anklet; and how king feared that she is not coming with him and turned around and the Goddess stopped then and there. The king had to build a temple where the Goddess stopped and he built an underground path from palace to temple to visit the Goddess everyday.

"Have you understood what I told you? Otherwise I will have to tell you again," the woman said and I smiled.
Then she showed me many photographs of film stars. It seems that movie shooting happens in this palace  and happens frequently.
Queen Victoria had awarded the king in 1877 - the woman showed me that award.
She also showed me 'dance room' in the palace and also a temporary jail created for shooting of a film.
I was touched by the dedication of the woman.

It was as if I was visiting her home - with so much of affection she was showing me everything.
I enjoyed it.

The woman came to the palace at the age of 18 as a maid servant of the Queen.
She is now 54 - she is staying here for the last 36 years.
Her husband passed away.
Now she works here.

I realized that this person is calm, disciplined, knowledgeable and humble.
I like such people.

I casually asked my team (all men, two in there 40s, two about 25, all working in technical field) - "Do you find any similarity between the experiences of these two evenings?"
They all thought about it and said, "No".

I changed my question. I asked, "Do you think there is any similarity between the Chief Executive Engineer of the Dam and the Maidservant we met at the Palace Museum?"
"Oh! Not at all!!" they said unanimously. "The man was highly educated, holding an important and responsible post, he must be earning a good salary. How can he be compared with this illiterate and low paid woman?" they shot back.

Why do we look at 'dedication' with a filtered perspective?
Why do we think that those who are better educated, those who are more aged, with who hold power position, those who earn more money, those who can speak more languages .. are more dedicated?


  1. Interesting reflection.

  2. Well, people have their own mental grooves...every thing fall in there....

  3. and ofcourse you were not looking for an answer. :)

    its just I wrote what ever came to mind...

  4. good comparision.to me incidents are different but experience,quality,mind set are same.


  5. Thanks Anonymous.

    Makk, yes, everybody has his/her way to look at. And yes, the question itself answers .. sill appreciate your answer.

    Nutan, we do agree on this.

  6. no matter what strata of life people belong to....similar kind of people invoke similar feelings in you...sensitive observation

  7. Raindrop, we get dedicated people cutting across the artificial lines life has created around us. That is indeed the beauty of life.


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